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The Tully's killed Robb?


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#1 Lucky Shield

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:47 AM

If there's a House that i HATE, its the Tully's- i mean- they're bloody idiots! First time i read the books, i liked them, i pitied because they were a little dim but well meaning and i pitied Cat for being left alone in the world but i'm reading the books a second time (anticipating the publication of DOD) and i realised that they actually really did kill Robb and ruin his revolt (at least the children did)

1. They are always being manipulated by the Freys, i mean they're Lords of the crossing and their's hundreds of them but just kill Walder (the first one), Walder Rivers and Lame Lothar and they won't be any trouble anymore. The others are all sheep. I'd also kill Little Walder cause he's a dumbass

2. The -ever judging Cat- releases Jaime, killing the Lannister hostages forcing the execution of Karstark - losing over 2000 men i believe - and making Robb even weaker then he was. We can also assume that if Jaime had not lost his hand, his "miraculous" change of attitude would never have happened. And now, she's a murdering zombie who tries to kill Brienne.

3. Edmure is a whoring fool (at least he knows it, unlike Cat and Lysa) but his need to impress his nephew pushes him to dissobey his orders and he is the cause of Stannis's loss at the battle of the Blackwater. Stannis is now even more religious then he used to be and can't wait to burn every idiot with royal blood in front of him. The battle of the fords also forces Robb to continue the war, something he clearly said he did not want to do. He wanted to negociate with Stannis, a road that i believe would have led to peace, since Stannis is much more flexible with lords then he used to be.

4. Lysa... Oh my god have i ever hated someone more then Lysa? I know a Lysa and i despise her. Discovering the book just made me hate those people even more. Lysa controls 20.000 swords and does not move from the Eirye because she's afraid for her son (who quite obviously would not be going to war? She also kills her husband??
Like wtf.. -.-' Jon Arryn was old, yes but no one ever said anything bad about him - he was kind and dutiful- but no let's just poison him because Petyr says so. She near-kills her own niece (Supposedly, the last Stark alive) because Petyr kisses her. I mean how thick could you be? And last but not least, she doesn't even let her nephew through her lands when all he's doing is trying to save the north.

5. Brynden is either gay (not a problem but i don't think he is; GRRM always hints about it when someone is gay or a pedophile "Lyn Corbray") or in love with his brother's wife (that's got my vote) - the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, right?

6. Hoster Tully most likely killed his own progeny when he gave the tea to Lysa, i mean thats bad enough.. She wouldn't be a maid again if Petyr's baby was gone? Just keep the child if he's Petyr's kid there's a good chance he'll have a claim to the iron throne before his father's done.


And there you have it /laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':laugh:' /> what do you think?

#2 feardeathbywater

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 07:12 PM

Yeah, it's pretty easy to hate the Tullys. Of all the Great Houses they demonstrate the least competence. Westeros is an intensely Darwinian place, and people who cannot compete and thrive have no business in power. Perhaps we should note in passing that they never achieved Lord Paramount status on their own, but had it handed to them by Aegon the Conqueror. The other house who took power in the same way, the Tyrells, are also demonstrating their mediocrity.

The Freys absolutely needed to be put in their place, but noone (except perhaps the Blackfish, off at the Bloody Gate) could have pulled off a "Rains of Castamere" or anything like it. "Black Walder" should be on your list as well. As for the current generation of Tullys: Catelyn is an idiot, Lysa is an even bigger idiot, and Edmure is a mediocrity. It was monstrous of Hoster to do what he did, especially from an evolutionary standpoint: a child of Petyr's might have added some badly needed cunning to the Tully bloodline.

Catelyn is a judgemental fool of the pot-kettle-black (hah!) variety, who thinks that mother-love justifies all sorts of unreasonable actions. Any wonder that her son let love and honor impell him to stupid actions? Exactly what did she think kidnapping Tyrion would accomplish? Could she not have simply asked Ned or Robert to have him arrested (along with Jaime, if they had any sense at all)? Lady Stoneheart is an IMPROVEMENT over the living Catelyn, though killing Brienne is a bit extreme. If the word was in fact "Sword", then it may have been an effective move after all.

Whoring does not make the fool (as Tyrion has ably demonstrated -though he is a fool for whores), but Edmure fits the description. Stubborn and hopeless as a general. Hard to believe it was HIM Hoster was hoping for all those years. And his stiff upper lip is a failure, as Jaime demonstrates several times. The Battle of the Fords was not so much his fault as it was Robb's: if you want someone to do something important, MAKE SURE THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IT IS AND HOW YOU WANT IT DONE.

Lysa was willfully blind. Nothing more need be said.

The Blackfish is the only hope for House Tully, and his personality might be his worst enemy. He is also guilty of allowing incompetent people to make decisions he could have prevented. When Hoster fell ill Brynden should have taken the reins and made himself "Hand" equivalent for the Trident. There is no real evidence to suggest he is gay (with Loras and the others it was specifically alluded to): hell, he might be asexual or even impotent. He may not want to give any "hostages to fortune" like Edmure has. Whatever the reason, he is solitary and able to operate effectively without any baggage, which at this point is a plus. To bad he didn't fire Riverrun right after the Red Wedding and march up to the Neck and link up his garrison with the Reeds. He might have retaken Moat Cailin and rejuvinated the Northern cause at one stroke.

Or not.

Of course, it may be that we are MEANT to hate them for all this. Or pity them. I have no window into the author's mind.

Edited by feardeathbywater, 07 July 2010 - 07:13 PM.


#3 Lucky Shield

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 07:35 AM

Catelyn is a judgemental fool of the pot-kettle-black (hah!) variety

/agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' />

Whoring does not make the fool (as Tyrion has ably demonstrated -though he is a fool for whores), but Edmure fits the description. Stubborn and hopeless as a general. Hard to believe it was HIM Hoster was hoping for all those years. And his stiff upper lip is a failure, as Jaime demonstrates several times. The Battle of the Fords was not so much his fault as it was Robb's: if you want someone to do something important, MAKE SURE THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IT IS AND HOW YOU WANT IT DONE.

Tyrion only goes to whores because he needs to, Edmure is supposed to be pretty good looking. He could go anywhere he wanted. Also.. not many people clever people seem to frequent whores, Tyrion just might be considered the exception to the rule.

The Blackfish is the only hope for House Tully, and his personality might be his worst enemy. He is also guilty of allowing incompetent people to make decisions he could have prevented. When Hoster fell ill Brynden should have taken the reins and made himself "Hand" equivalent for the Trident. There is no real evidence to suggest he is gay (with Loras and the others it was specifically alluded to): hell, he might be asexual or even impotent. He may not want to give any "hostages to fortune" like Edmure has. Whatever the reason, he is solitary and able to operate effectively without any baggage, which at this point is a plus. To bad he didn't fire Riverrun right after the Red Wedding and march up to the Neck and link up his garrison with the Reeds. He might have retaken Moat Cailin and rejuvinated the Northern cause at one stroke.

I said i didn't think he was gay but your right he might be asexual or impotent (but knowing GRRM if it was something like that wouldn't he have been dubbed the sloppy fish not Edmure?) and i remember (or might be imagining) someone saying something about Hoster's wife. And if he's ever gonna roust a kingdom its going to have to be the Vale, he guarded the gate for god's know how long. I'm pretty sure, the lords declarant only wished to join Robb because of his link to both Brynden and Lysa



#4 Lady Blackfish

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:21 PM

and i realised that they actually really did kill Robb and ruin his revolt (at least the children did)

No Tully had anything to do with Robb sleeping with Jeyne or sending Theon to Balon Greyjoy, for one. And the entire revolt was a silly idea that came from a vengeance-bound northman, as I recall.

1. They are always being manipulated by the Freys, i mean they're Lords of the crossing and their's hundreds of them but just kill Walder (the first one), Walder Rivers and Lame Lothar and they won't be any trouble anymore. The others are all sheep. I'd also kill Little Walder cause he's a dumbass

Killing someone with no justification is called murder, and it's a bad thing. Newsflash: Tywin is not a role model.

2. The -ever judging Cat- releases Jaime, killing the Lannister hostages forcing the execution of Karstark - losing over 2000 men i believe - and making Robb even weaker then he was.

Killing the Lannister hostages was Rickard Karstark's decision, he is a grown man capable of and responsible for his own choices. Executing Karstark was actually insisted upon by Robb himself, and opposed by Tully voices as I recall. It was favored by Stark honor, but in no way inarguably necessary.

3. Edmure is a whoring fool (at least he knows it, unlike Cat and Lysa) but his need to impress his nephew pushes him to dissobey his orders and he is the cause of Stannis's loss at the battle of the Blackwater.

Robb's orders were unclear, he did not explicitly order Edmure to not engage Tywin. We can fault Edmure perhaps for not being a tactical genius, as he failed to see what Robb saw from the maps, but Robb committed his own error with his lack of specificity.

Would you be willing to clarify what you mean by pinning Stannis' loss at Blackwater on Edmure?

5. Brynden is either gay (not a problem but i don't think he is; GRRM always hints about it when someone is gay or a pedophile "Lyn Corbray") or in love with his brother's wife (that's got my vote) - the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, right?

What is the problem here?

6. Hoster Tully most likely killed his own progeny when he gave the tea to Lysa, i mean thats bad enough.. She wouldn't be a maid again if Petyr's baby was gone? Just keep the child if he's Petyr's kid there's a good chance he'll have a claim to the iron throne before his father's done.

No doubt it was pretty terrible, but I'm curious what you think honorable Rickard Stark would do if Lyanna came home to Winterfell with Rhaegar Targaryen's child in tow, in some alternate scenario in which both lived, having disobeyed her father's plans for her? Do you really think he'd be pleased with the prospect of finding a suitable match for her after that? And I hope you don't seriously mean that Hoster Tully should have foreseen that Petyr Baelish would be where he is now -- which, BTW, is still a few degrees off from "claim to the iron throne". Furthermore, he's hardly an honorable sort, and you know, kind of a murdering asshole. Why would any decent father want him for their daughter?


Of all the Great Houses they demonstrate the least competence. Westeros is an intensely Darwinian place, and people who cannot compete and thrive have no business in power. Perhaps we should note in passing that they never achieved Lord Paramount status on their own, but had it handed to them by Aegon the Conqueror. The other house who took power in the same way, the Tyrells, are also demonstrating their mediocrity.

All I see is that the Tullys lack ruthlessness, they have no desire to wantonly kill for power, and no ability to buy it or supernaturally ascend to it. Instead their angle seems to be to make allies and pick their battles. It's fair to say that being basically decent is a liability in Westeros, but incompetence is needlessly hyperbolic.

Catelyn is a judgemental fool of the pot-kettle-black (hah!) variety, who thinks that mother-love justifies all sorts of unreasonable actions. Any wonder that her son let love and honor impell him to stupid actions?

The closest thing that comes to that is when Catelyn releases Jaime, otherwise her actions were reasonable given what she knew and her limited resources. I also fail to see how Robb's actions are more Catelyn-like than anything near his Stark relatives. See: Brandon Stark, who out of protective anger of his sister rashly challenges the crown prince to duel, eventually getting himself and his father killed in events that precipitated a war. See: Lyanna Stark, who many people in the fandom love to theorize as having ran off with her beloved prince without so much as leaving a note, precipitating a war.

Exactly what did she think kidnapping Tyrion would accomplish? Could she not have simply asked Ned or Robert to have him arrested (along with Jaime, if they had any sense at all)?

Um? Ned and Robert were not there. She thought he was a(n attempted) murderer, meaning he would have no qualms killing her, and that he was part of a Lannister conspiracy who would relay the knowledge of her presence in the Riverlands to his family, a thing Ned implicitly agreed is undesirable. She thought she could use him as leverage for some immediate safety, and then proceed to take him somewhere with the proper jurisdiction to proceed with a trial, complete with, like, evidence and stuff.

Stubborn and hopeless as a general. Hard to believe it was HIM Hoster was hoping for all those years. And his stiff upper lip is a failure, as Jaime demonstrates several times.

Oh yes, Hoster has a generally kind and loving son, what a failure. You'd really think better of Hoster Tully if he was a Randyll Tarly, perhaps? Edmure's soft, and yes its a political liability, but he's a good person whose errors in the end didn't outnumber Robb's.

When Hoster fell ill Brynden should have taken the reins and made himself "Hand" equivalent for the Trident.

Hoster kept the news of his illness confined to Riverrun, so that enemies would not know of it and sense the weak moment. Brynden, off as he was in the Vale, could have known, how? And the strength of the team unit would have benefited from his openly opposing his nephew, how?



I don't think we're meant to hate the Tullys, I think simple fanboyism and perspective bias is the cause of that. They are an example of a house stratagem with certain strengths and certain weaknesses, like any other house. They ruled their lands for 300 years, and then forces conspired to deal them a tough moment. Sounds pretty normal in the grand scheme of history.

(And honestly, I don't think the tendency to take what is normal and hyperbolize it into "OMG TERRIBLE AWFUL" is all that flattering.)

Edited by Lady Blackfish, 29 July 2010 - 10:57 PM.


#5 Jaime L

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 11:01 PM

What LB said.

In a lot of ways the Tullys were victims of circumstance. Through no action of their own (Catelyn was a Stark when she kidnapped Tyrion, Lysa was an Arryn when she sent that letter), they were the first to bleed. Moreover they bled worse than any of the great houses solely based on their location.

Also, I think you can make a strong case that the Tullys are the weakest of the Great Houses. It's clear they're completely overmatched by the Lannisters right from the start. Also their location is nearly impossible to defend. It's clear they would be similarly overmatched by the Tyrells and while it's less clear with regard to the other Great Houses, each one had some natural form of protection Riverrun could only dream of. The Starks have Moat Cailin, The Arryns have the Eyrie, the Baratheons have an impenetrable 400 foot Storm Wall, while the Martells went unconquered for centuries from their sheltered position behind the mountains. By contrast Riverrun can be attacked from any direction by anyone and their ability to split a Besieging host through the use of rivers seems like small potatoes compared to the advantages the other houses have. Let's face it, when we look at the reason for the cavalcade of Tully failures most of them are based in this fact. They failed because they were the weakest in a Darwinian struggle. I also suspect they were never able to bring the Freys in line because they simply never had the strength nor the manpower. It's one thing for Tywin to eradicate his unruly bannerman root and stem with the considerable power of House Lannister...if the Tullys had tried the same thing with the Freys they very well might've bled to death in the process. Let's face it, in a world like this one, power papers over a lot of shortcomings.

Edited by Jaime L, 29 July 2010 - 11:02 PM.


#6 Lady Blackfish

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 11:41 PM

I didn't get the sense that the defensibility of Riverrun itself was at all trivial; it's actually a little intimidating how tough the castle is to take. But Riverrun the castle is different from the riverlands as a whole. Jaime Lannister has to resort to appealing to Edmure's sense of compassion for his smallfolk in order to finally take the Tully seat, and it works because Edmure (horrors!) cares. Not disagreeing that the riverlands themselves are difficult to defend, acting as a weakness.

If Hoster Tully moved against Walder Frey without just cause, there is no reason for his other bannermen to have much faith in him. See: the rebellion against Aerys. Tywin getting away with it is the exception, not the rule.

Edited by Lady Blackfish, 29 July 2010 - 11:41 PM.


#7 Jaime L

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 11:55 PM

I didn't get the sense that the defensibility of Riverrun itself was at all trivial; it's actually a little intimidating how tough the castle is to take. But Riverrun the castle is different from the riverlands as a whole.


Not to say it was easy to take by any stretch. I think part of the greatness of each of the Great Houses is that each holds a seat of power that is among the most impenetrable fortresses in the realm (often as implied by the magic involved in crafting each place). Think only Harrenhal can match any of the great seats of power as far as its impenetrability.

Still think, on the scale of: "Can it be breached by an army?" Riverrun scores a "difficult but possible", in comparison to other places like Storm's End "your only hope is to wait them out" or the Eyrie which is pretty much "A snowball's chance in hell"

But Riverrun the castle is different from the riverlands as a whole.


That's the other part. There is no natural protection. No Moat Cailin...no Golden Tooth...no Mountains of the Moon. It's all out there for the raping and pillaging.

Jaime Lannister has to resort to appealing to Edmure's sense of compassion for his smallfolk in order to finally take the Tully seat, and it works because Edmure (horrors!) cares.


Well, I think as the text implies, Jaime could've stormed Riverrun and taken the castle...he just would've bled for it.

If Hoster Tully moved against Walder Frey without just cause, there is no reason for his other bannermen to have much faith in him. See: the rebellion against Aerys. Tywin getting away with it is the exception, not the rule.


Honestly, not to be too Machiavellian but power would decided the legitimacy of any such an action. I think you can argue that the disrespect the Reynes and Tarbecks showed to their liege lord was no more grievous than the (in)action of the Freys to theirs. Infact I think you can argue the Freys were more outright traitorous by refusing an order (twice!) during a time of peril, a time of war.

...

Anyway, despite these nitpicks, do you agree with me that the Tullys are the weakest of the Great Houses and a large part of why they suffered the fate they did was a result of simply being weaker (both in terms of actual strength and position)..or do you not find it convincing?

Edited by Jaime L, 30 July 2010 - 12:00 AM.


#8 Lady Blackfish

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:09 AM

Well, I think as the text implies, Jaime could've stormed Riverrun and taken the castle...he just would've bled for it.

Well keep in mind that the castle is rather depleted. I mean, I'll grant you the Eyrie and Storm's End, but OTOH those are on the more fantastical side of the world building. Highgarden and Sunspear are a bit more normal, as far as we know, and I imagine it'd be similar results.

Honestly, not to be too Machiavellian but power would decided the legitimacy of any such an action.

It would decide the effectiveness, anyway, which amounts to the same thing from a certain perspective. I wasn't debating that, just that when Hoster Tully makes the decision about how to deal with Walder Frey, he has to take into account the fact that his legitimacy depends on the good will of his people. I think that's pretty commensurate with what you're saying, he can't rely on the money-backed power of the Lannisters (or the divine dragon gifts of the Targaryens) so he has to be ... reasonable.

As far as the Freys being disobedient, well they were slimy about it, didn't they come in at the last minute the previous time? And Walder Frey was saying in AGOT how he was planning to come, it was just a matter of preparation. It's one of those lies you know is there but can't prove. In fairness too, it's quite an untertaking exterminating the Frey clan, and as Westeros history shows, if you don't exterminate the whole clan, expect trouble.

Anyway, despite these nitpicks, do you agree with me that the Tullys are the weakest of the Great Houses and a large part of why they suffered the fate they did was a result of simply being weaker (both in terms of actual strength and position)..or do you not find it convincing?

I wasn't at all disagreeing with you. In a sense this is why they have to adopt a staunch attitude and selectivity.

(But also, on a more intimate level, it's kind of because of Petyr Baelish.)

Edited by Lady Blackfish, 30 July 2010 - 12:19 AM.


#9 Jaime L

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:33 AM

Well keep in mind that the castle is rather depleted. I mean, I'll grant you the Eyrie and Storm's End, but OTOH those are on the more fantastical side of the world building. Highgarden and Sunspear are a bit more normal, as far as we know, and I imagine it'd be similar results.


Agreed. We can only surmise, but I would think it's true that Highgarden and Sunspear have no better natural defenses than Riverrun (and just guessing here but Sunspear is probably far weaker). I think though Highgarden makes up for this through sheer force of numbers - The Tyrells are wealthy and powerful. And Sunspear has a different kind of protection - treacherous mountains and endless desert before you can even approach the city to beseige.

It would decide the effectiveness, anyway, which amounts to the same thing from a certain perspective. I wasn't debating that, just that when Hoster Tully makes the decision about how to deal with Walder Frey, he has to take into account the fact that his legitimacy depends on the good will of his people. I think that's pretty commensurate with what you're saying, he can't rely on the money-backed power of the Lannisters (or the divine dragon gifts of the Targaryens) so he has to be ... reasonable.


We're on the same page here. Think we agree Hoster, considering the hand he was dealt, played it about as well as he could.

I guess the one potential mistake is what you reference here:

I wasn't at all disagreeing with you. In a sense this is why they have to adopt a staunch attitude and selectivity.

(But also, on a more intimate level, it's kind of because of Petyr Baelish.)


That his blindness to what Lysa wanted or what Littlefinger could achieve ultimately brought destruction upon his house.

Though even here I tend to feel like they were just caught in the path of the tornado. I don't think anyone could've reasonably seen what Littlefinger became and I can't imagine any other Great House treating the situation any differently.

Y'know people joke about how hard RR is on the Starks (i.e.: Every time you pester him when the next book will be done he kills another Stark)...but think the Tullys had an equally horrific time of things. They spend most of the books desperately fighting a war they didn't start against a more powerful enemy who attacked them without warning. Riverrun spends most of 4 books besieged, the Riverlands become a veritable hellhole and the place where the worst atrocities in the series are committed. I mean the Starks instigated their fate....the Tullys were just hapless bystanders. And even though they fought on loyally with the Starks and even named Robb their King, they're still so unlucky they get threads asking us to believe that they're behind his death. Haven't seen anyone get this unfair of a shake since...well Edmure.

#10 Errant Bard

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 01:27 AM

what do you think?

I think I can play this game:

If there's a House that i HATE, its the Starks- i mean- they're bloody idiots! First time i read the books, i liked them, i pitied because they were a little dim but well meaning and I pitied the kids for being left alone in the world but thinking about it I realised that they actually really did kill their own men and ruin their own house.

1. They are always being manipulated by the Littlefinger, I mean he's but one guy but just don't trust him and he won't be any trouble anymore. And he himself warns them.

2. The -ever judging Ned- tells Cersei of his plans, moves before Arya or Sansa are in security, refuses Renly's help but asks Petyr's, forcing his own execution - losing everyone, including his own daughters - and making Robb and Cat even weaker then they were.

3. Robb is a backstabbing fool (at least he knows it) but his need to impress his Bannermen is what makes him crown himself king in the North, a totally idiotic gesture which antagonised absolutely everyone else and earned him a leech-curse from Stannis/melisandre. Also, his need to impress his mother pushes him to forgive Cat and that's the cause for the Kastark's betrayal, in turn.

4. Lyanna... Oh my god have i ever hated someone more then Lyanna? Bimbo gets infatuated with a guitar harp douche, so she skips town, ignites a civil war, and has the gall to make his brother promise something that we can infer will ruin his life in the future, married life included, if he doesn't get a perfect and loving wife. (which, luckily he almost gets, but that's not enough to prevent yet another war from rising out of this mess miss oh so perfect Lyanna created)

5. Brandon is a moron, running to the Red Keep with sword drawn, forcing his father to come try to deliver him, frightening Aerys into asking the heads of Ned and all those related to him. And killing himself in the end.

6. Bran. "But I never fall!" Well now you do, dumbass. Way to start a war. If you had not overestimated your climbing, or not been curious enough to overtax your skills, Nothing would have happened. But then again, if you had the guts to remember what you saw, it would likely not have happened either. Also, taking over Hodor by force and likely not stopping there isn't going to make you more sympathetic.

7. Rickon. Cannot do the difference between Luwin and Gregor Clegane, would send wolf on both, now that's the definition of dim. If left alone, would prove more of a liability to his own allies than to the enemy. The epitome of stupidity.

8. Sansa. Oh Sansa. It's so easy to riff on her. Willful stupidity doesn't even begin to cover it. Blaming Arya for Lady's death? check. Forcing herself to believe Joffrey is a perfect prince even after the Ruby Ford? check. Trusting Cersei after she orders Lady killed? check. Helping Ned to the grave the man had already dug for himself? Check. Well, I don't need to really spit vitriol here, as I think it has already been said countless times*

9. Arya. Wanted to suicide alongside her mother. Good grief. How about doing something else than running? Like asking Jaqen to kill Tywin? No, of course, killing an understeward is much better.

10. Jon. Was the one who asked to be sent to the Night's Watch. How moronic is that? Maybe Winterfell would not have fallen to Ramsay with him around. His plot coupons prove to be toxic to everyone of some skill around him, as Jeor Mormont, Mance Rayder, Qorin Halfhand, Ygritte, Aemon Targaryen or Benjen can attest. Either way was one of the causes Robb didn't fold: he thought he had a heir. As if, since Jon had already thrown his lot with Stannis.

Oh, also, DOD is Erikson's Dust of Dreams. A Dance with Dragons is ADWD.


*and truly I can't bring myself to do it

#11 Horza

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 01:39 AM

I agree with this and Lucky Shield's piece - the Lannisters are the only Great House with my respect because they're by and large not goofy good-natured screwups.

#12 Olenna

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 01:59 AM

Right on, Errant Bard!

Getting back to the Tullys: While accusing them of incompetence and stupidity is hyperbolic, I do think we're meant to see them as mediocre in the sense that their actions are mostly of the humdrun garden variety rather than "epic." They're doomed, and they're doomed to die with a whimper instead of a bang.

#13 Lady Blackfish

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:00 AM

2. The -ever judging Ned- tells Cersei of his plans, moves before Arya or Sansa are in security, refuses Renly's help but asks Petyr's, forcing his own execution - losing everyone, including his own daughters - and making Robb and Cat even weaker then they were.

Also, sending Beric instead of Loras to deal with Gregor? Even when Varys is right there telling him it's a bad idea? What does he need, a message in flashing lights?

Plus we have to admit that Ned's a pretty weak lord. House Bolton has a tradition of flaying people, it's on their freaking badge for fuck's sake. They especially love to skin Starks, and what does Ned do? Just allow them to thrive? Quel moronic.

And let us not forget the derelict Benjen! The brother who goes and swears off marriage and fatherhood when his brother has but one son under his belt to secure the continuation of the Stark line. Gruff yet lovable awesome uncle my ass.

Getting back to the Tullys: While accusing them of incompetence and stupidity is hyperbolic, I do think we're meant to see them as mediocre in the sense that their actions are mostly of the humdrun garden variety rather than "epic." They're doomed, and they're doomed to die with a whimper instead of a bang.

I don't think they're mediocre, they're mundane. Not magical, not theatrical, but normal.

Starks = house tragic woe
Lannisters = house theatrical dysfunction
Targaryens = house special snowflake
Baratheons = house epic macho
Tyrells = house glitter
Tullys = ... house boring

Edited by Lady Blackfish, 30 July 2010 - 02:12 AM.


#14 Olenna

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:12 AM

I don't think they're mediocre, they're mundane. Not magical, not theatrical, but normal.


Right...but in a fantasy novel where most of the characters are way larger than life, mundane/normal generally translates to mediocre.

Love the special snowflake house.

What about the Greyjoys?

Edited by Olenna, 30 July 2010 - 02:15 AM.


#15 Lady Blackfish

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:16 AM

Yes Martin is less invested in them, but to say they're mediocre, I mean, they're also much more like the people we are often called on to experience empathy for, all the mundane smallfolk. I don't get the feeling that it is intended to translate into mediocrity at all, though their story is not so much our main one. It's that little touch of the human element, I don't interpret that as accidental or trivial. YMMV.

Greyjoys = house pseudoviking dysfunction.

Edited by Lady Blackfish, 30 July 2010 - 02:20 AM.


#16 Eugene V. Debspalm

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:23 AM

Tullys = ... house boring


Aw, come now. They're a bunch of hot, earthy redheads. That has to be worth something.

I think the Tullys might be the one house that sort of...interacts with the enviorment a lot. They're actually influenced by their bannermen and their smallfolk and their role as rulers, rather than sort of floating above that as a pure soap opera. With the other houses, anyone not from the house itself who ever shows up is just an incidental plot necessity - the reynes to demonstratr Tywins ruthlessness, The Florents or Redqynes or whoever to stand about and bumble and be less pretty than Tyrells, etc. Tully bannermen actually show up with their own problems, and they're the only ones I can ever remember taking smallfolk into actual consideration.

I appreciate the sense of morality that they have which belongs to something like actual humans, rather than to that construct known as 'gritty and grey fantasy characters', which given its rarity elsewhere helps the whole thing not to become completely divorced from reality. Edmure cares about the lives of hundereds of people! O.M.G. what a freak!!!!

#17 Olenna

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:26 AM

Enh, the smallfolk are pretty unimportant to this story. The occasional appeals we get to feel sympathy for them are really just concessions to current ideals of democracy and political correctness. GRRM pays lip service to them and then gets right back to what he's really interested in--the epic larger-than-life nobles/celebrities. This is a flaw in the books imo.

#18 Lady Blackfish

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:27 AM

Well said Datepalm, I personally agree. They're a grounding element to the series, and I can see how it's unappealing to escapists, but I didn't get the sense that Martin considered it a throwaway contribution.

Olenna - the story really isn't over yet. The game of thrones is actually set up to be a huge waste of investment for all involved, as far as I can tell. Yes, Martin himself is starstruck by all the pageantry and epic grandeur, you can sense that, but there is also a sense of skepticism about his own adoration. Again, it's JMO and YMMV, but I never felt like the "voice of the little people" was at all perfunctory, even if it rarely commandeers the narrative. It's actually one thing I love about Brienne's chapters.

Edited by Lady Blackfish, 30 July 2010 - 04:03 AM.


#19 Eugene V. Debspalm

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:43 AM

Olenna - the story really isn't over yet. The game of thrones is actually set up to be a huge waste of investment for all involved, as far as I can tell. Yes, Martin himself is starstruck by all the pageantry and epic grandeur, you can sense that, but there is also a sense of skepticism about his own adoration. Again, it's JMO and YMMV, but I never felt like the "voice of the little people" was at all perfunctory, even if it rarely commandeers the narrative. It's actually one thing I love about Brienne's chapters.


Surely the energy going into the Game of Thrones is meant to be somewhat farcical, between Dany in the east and the Others to the North? I think the books shine when they touch on actual politics - struggles of power amongst groups of people, defined by class, wealth, culture, geography, technology, religeon, etc - rather than politics as the ostentatious richness of Cerceis dress to the elegant simplicity of Eddards tunic while they have a potenous coversation that is a struggle of their Great Man characters.

#20 Lady Blackfish

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:57 AM

Agreed again, Datepalm. I mean, I like that glittery stuff, but my tastes are not confined to it.

And I take Olenna's point, Martin is into all the pageantry, you can get a clear sense of that. I just think he is more willing to undermine his own interests than perhaps Olenna does. We shall see what we shall see.

Edited by Lady Blackfish, 30 July 2010 - 05:48 AM.